Chester man held without bail after picking up more charges

McCool was already facing a half-dozen serious sexual assault charges

CHESTER, VT - A Chester man who was already facing a slate of serious felony charges from earlier this year was ordered held without bail on Friday after his ex-girlfriend reported that he had turned up drunk at her home and hurt her while breaking a window.

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    James McCool, 28, was ordered held without bail on Friday after he pleaded innocent to three felonies - two counts of second-degree aggravated domestic assault and an unlawful trespass into an occupied residence - and to misdemeanor counts of unlawful mischief and violation of a court-ordered condition of pre-trial release.

    In April of last year, McCool appeared in court in Windham County where he was released on pre-trial conditions after he entered innocent pleas to six felony counts of sex assault.  Among his conditions was a court-order that he not have any contact with minors under the age of 16 while his cases there are pending.

    Chester Police Officer Adam Woodell said he responded to a report of a disturbance taking place near Highland Court on the evening of Wednesday, July 5th and arrived and spoke with McCool.

    “McCool was upset at a recent court case in which I was the arresting officer,” Woodell recounted in an affidavit filed with the court.

    “(McCool) pled to this case and is now on probation.  He believed the paperwork said he broke the door off my cruiser and he claimed he didn’t do that.  He also believed I had charged him with assault on a law enforcement officer and that he did not do that so he has been waiting to assault me ever since.  I attempted to explain to McCool that he dented the door and offered to show him the dent.”

    “Now in the driveway of the residence, McCool continued to be loud and aggressive and kept trying to fight me in the middle of a residential neighborhood, beating his chest and throwing his arms out,” Officer Woodell continued.  “I was able to calm him down and redirect the conversation to where we talked about his anger and alcohol issues.”

    Woodell said McCool volunteered to take a breath test which showed he had a 0.161 percent blood alcohol level after which, he wrote, “Once McCool was calmed down, I cleared the scene.”

    Shortly before midnight, Woodell and two state troopers responded back to Highland Court for a report of a fight where windows had been broken.

    Woodell said that McCool’s ex-girlfriend told police that she had returned to her home to find McCool inside her apartment and clearly intoxicated and, fearing something violent was about to occur, she turned on a video camera inside the home to record him.

    “(She) stated that McCool does not live there and has not since January and does not belong there,” Woodell wrote.  “An argument ensued over McCool wanting a ride home.  (She) filmed this incident and provided (the tape) to me which shows McCool hitting himself in the head and yelling for help while telling (her) to stop hitting him,” which Woodell said the video made clear she was not doing.

    “McCool then broke the glass window on the front door to the breezeway with his fist.  (His ex-girlfriend) then went inside the residence and held the door shut to keep him out.  He then punched the window on the door, showering her with glass, resulting in cuts to her arm and leg.”

    Although police searched the area with the aid of a police canine during the early morning hours, McCool was not arrested until later on Thursday afternoon when he showed up at the Springfield Probation & Parole officer for a scheduled appointment. 

    One year ago, also at Highland Court in Chester, McCool was arrested after a remarkably similar incident in which police said McCool had showed up drunk at his girlfriend's residence, demanded a ride, and then punched her repeatedly in the head and smashed out her windows with an axe after she refused.  McCool was seen running past Jiffy Mart into a nearby wooded area with the axe and was taken into custody after he allegedly made death threats to troopers.  At that time, McCool was initially charged with domestic assault, resisting arrest, violating court-ordered conditions of pre-trial release, unlawful mischief, operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, criminal threatening in the presence of a child and disorderly conduct with all but the domestic assault and unlawful mischief charges eventually dismissed as part of a plea deal which saw him placed on probation for one year.

James McCool, 28, of Chester is now facing serious charges in both Windsor and Windham counties

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